1/12/1916 – 3/19/2021
Barbara Winneguth McCurry was born on Jan. 12, 1916 to Else Krebs and James Edgar Jaques in Germantown, a small section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, around the corner from Betsy Ross’ home.
With older sister Eleanor, the family moved to Rye, New York, for two years then to Oakland, California, where Barbara had fond memories of her elementary school and seeing Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig at a baseball game with her dad. In 1928, the family moved to North Hollywood, California, where she attended North Hollywood High School, participating in the French club and a musical production of The Mikado with future actor Alan Ladd.
Barbara enrolled in Woodbury Business College in Hollywood to prepare for a secretarial job at Republic Studio in Burbank where she earned her first paycheck of $10 and met her future husband, Gilbert Carl Winneguth. Married in 1939, Barbara and Gil built a cozy home in Van Nuys where they lived happily for 40 years and were blessed with four children.
Barbara was an active young mother helping with Boy Scouts, teaching Sunday School at Van Nuys Presbyterian Church, singing in two choirs and volunteering for community causes. The family enjoyed picnics, trailer camping in Carpinteria, road trips to National Parks and the 1960 Seattle World’s Fair. In 1981, Barbara and Gil designed and built their dream home in Carpinteria with a magnificent acre of avocado and fruit trees, a veggie garden and a blissful ocean view. Inspired by the sea breezes, they named their home “Brisa,” but Gil was only able to enjoy it for six months due to a losing battle with lung cancer.
In 1983, Barbara married Ernest Alton McCurry, a fellow choir member at Carpinteria Community Church. They were active in many local organizations: Meals on Wheels, Girl’s Inc., the Masonic Lodge and Gold Nuggets for special needs young adults. Barbara and Ernie traveled extensively and sang together often. They enjoyed golfing at Montecito Country Club, gardening, spoiling their pets and hosting family and friends at their home until Ernie developed Alzheimer’s and died in 2005.
Almost every weekend since 1984, Barbara served “Open House Waffles” on Saturday mornings for family, friends and neighbors. She was affectionately known around Carpinteria as “the Waffle Lady,” as countless folks enjoyed her warm hospitality and stories over a warm meal.
Barbara was a member of the Treble Clef Chorus in Santa Barbara and loved singing soprano with them for 35 years! She also loved watching Dodger games and the Hallmark channel on TV, and every year she canned summer fruit from her garden. Her interest in politics, world affairs and justice for all, prompted many handwritten letters to government officials.
Barbara overflowed with wonderful qualities: her kind and generous heart, her open mind and her unconditional love for all. She lived her deep faith, and her energy was legendary. She offered sound advice and unfailing support to any who needed it. An amazing gift came to her in her 90s, the birth of four great granddaughters. She delighted in them. She was so grateful for her longevity, good health and independence, and for frequent visits from family, friends and neighbors. She renewed her driver’s license for the last time at 99 years old and planted her final veggie garden at 104, yielding the biggest, best tomatoes ever. She showed us how to age courageously and was a harmonizing chord in the symphony of life.
Barbara was preceded in death by her son, David Winneguth of Carpinteria. She is survived by daughter Nancy (Steve) Kersnowski of Ventura; grandson Kasey (Christina Speed) Kersnowski of Santa Barbara; son Mike (Elise) Winneguth of Carpinteria; grandson Will (Caroline) Winneguth in Germany; great-granddaughters Quinlyn and Amelia Winneguth; daughter Jill (Tom) Rowe of Van Nuys; grandson Justin (Amy Blakemore) Rowe of Carpinteria; great-granddaughters Penny and Lulah Rowe; granddaughter Ashley (José) Palafox of Oakland; step-daughter Diane Beamer of Santa Barbara and family; the family of her late step-son Barie McCurry; step-daughter Jenifer McCurry; and many nieces and nephews.
Barbara’s family would like to thank Assisted Hospice of Santa Barbara, especially Judy Darrin RN, and Barbara’s faithful, dedicated caregivers from Angels of Grace, especially Lyn and Michelle.
A private family burial was held at Carpinteria Cemetery.
If they wish, friends may remember Barbara with a donation to the Carpinteria Community Church or New Directions of Santa Barbara, a nonprofit group for special needs adults.